No errors found in election results |

No errors found in election results

Canvass board to finish counting duties today

Collin Smith

The general election is almost over.

Although ballots were cast more than a week ago, the county has begun digging through the votes to make sure the numbers add up, which is where the volunteer canvass board comes in.

Made up of one Democrat, one Republican and two Moffat County High School students, the board spent Wednesday going through 881 paper and electronic ballots one by one.

The group found no errors; however the work isn’t done. Today some of the board will return to count provisional ballots and verify that the total number of votes recorded in each precinct matches the voter roll.

The county has until Tuesday to certify local election results, which are sent to the Colorado Secretary of State. The county keeps paper records of the election for 26 months before destroying them.

One of the board’s high school students, 16-year-old Arylle Rademacher, purposefully stayed out of politics during the recent election, but that didn’t keep her from enlisting as an election judge this year.

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It also didn’t keep her from spending all of Wednesday at the Moffat County Courthouse to help count 881 individual ballots by hand. Her task, also the task of three other canvass board members, was to make sure the election results add up.

“I didn’t really pay much attention (to the election) because it made me very angry,” she said. “It seemed like everybody was just trying to argue with you to make you vote for whoever they wanted to vote for.”

However, Rademacher’s distaste for politicking has not colored her appreciation for America’s democracy.

“When I’m an election judge, I don’t get a biased opinion and they don’t try to sway my opinion one way or the other,” she said. “It’s an interesting process. I’m just helping.”

For those who think she might have signed up to get out of school, Rademacher spent the day counting votes with her American government teacher, Liane Davis-Kling.

Davis-Kling, the canvass board’s official Democrat, has worked with Corrie Ponikvar, the board’s official Republican, for the past several years. This year, county officials said there was enough work because of the high number of races and large voter turnout to sign up two high school volunteers, as well.

Ponikvar, something of a self-described political junkie who was once the chairwoman of the Moffat County Republican Central Committee, said her foray into government began kind of like Rademacher’s: with a simple interest.

“It’s sort of like it gets in your bloodstream and you just can’t stand not to participate,” Ponikvar said.

She will join Davis-Kling today to finish the rest of the election audit, but the students have to be back in school.